Searching for Habitable Worlds

Searching for Habitable Worlds

An Introduction

Abel Mendez, Wilson Gonzalez-Espada
ISBN: 9781681744001 | PDF ISBN: 9781681744018
Copyright © 2016 | 78 Pages | Publication Date: June, 2016

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What does it take to consider a planet potentially habitable? If a planet is suitable for life, could life be present? Is life on other planets inevitable? Searching for Habitable Worlds answers these questions and provides both the general public and astronomy enthusiasts with a richly illustrated discussion of the most current knowledge regarding the search for extrasolar planets. Nearly everyone wants to know if we are alone in the universe. This book might not have the answers, but shows where we should look.

This book is a fun and accessible book for everyone from middle schoolers to amateur astronomers of all ages. The use of non-technical language and abundant illustrations make this a quick read to inform everyone about the latest movement in the search for other planets that we might be able to inhabit. After a brief discussion on why humans are hard-wired to be curious, and to explore the unknown, the book describes what extrasolar planets are, how to detect them, and how to pin down potential targets. In addition, a data-driven list of the best candidates for habitability is profiled and the next generation of exoplanet-hunting scientific instruments and probes are identified.

Table of Contents

1. Exploring Earth and Beyond
2. The ABC of Exoplanets
3. When is a Planet Habitable?
4. Cataloging Habitable Exoplanets
5. Potentially Habitable Worlds
6. And the Search Goes On...

About the Author(s)

Abel Mendez, University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo
Abel Mendez is an Associate Professor of Physics and Director of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory, Department of Physics and Chemistry, University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, Puerto Rico. He does research about planetary habitability, exoplanets, and astrobiology in general.

Wilson Gonzalez-Espada, Morehead State University
Wilson Gonzalez-Espada is an Associate Professor of Physics and Science Education, department of Mathematics and Physics, Morehead State University, Morehead, Kentucky. His scholarly interests include science communication, the public understanding of science, and physics education research.

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